The nightmare buggies that bug me

Has there ever been an invention so helpful and yet so horrible as the buggy?

Has there ever been an invention so helpful and yet so horrible as the buggy?

I wouldn't be without ours, of course - not only does it transport Tibbons in relative comfort and speed, but it also saves my back and is a wonder for carting shopping home. But still, I’m not an outright fan (nor is Tibbons come to that).

Take other people's buggies for a start. A nightmare, plain and simple! As I write this, I’m sitting in a café with Tibbons fast asleep in his buggy next to me.

As someone who remembers life before children, the buggy is tucked out of everyone’s way. Surrounding us are another five of which the same can, unfortunately, not be said. Which is why we're stuck right next to the barista, who is liable to wake T with her noisy coffee-making at any moment. If this column comes to an abrupt end, you'll know why.

I can't really blame the parents, though. Most public places aren't built for buggies. Supermarket aisles aren't wide enough; café tables are packed in too tight; public transport barely has room for a bag, let alone anything with four wheels; and, as for your regular pavement, laughable!

Only, I’m not really sure it’s our facilities that are the problem. What if it’s simply the size of the buggies that we all buy? You’ve seen them; they're built like tanks. Ours has wheels a 4x4 would be proud of and looks more like an armchair on wheels than a pram. Tibbons hates it anyway, so would it really be so bad to put him in something more, well, basic?

Call me radical, but perhaps we should design buggies for the world we actually inhabit rather than the rather roomier one we wish we did.